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Newton mourns death of high school junior Roee Grutman

Posted by Leslie Anderson  February 6, 2014 01:19 PM

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Newton is mourning the loss of Roee Grutman, a Newton South High School junior who died unexpectedly Thursday morning, according to a letter to parents from school Superintendent David Fleishman.

Authorities have stated that the death is not suspicious and there is no foul play, Fleishman said.

Grutman is the third Newton high school student to die since last October when Karen Douglas, an 18-year-old senior at Newton North, and Katie Stack, a 15-year-old sophomore at Newton South, took their own lives.

“The death of any young person is a terrible tragedy. The shock of this loss is magnified by the deaths of two Newton students last fall,” Fleishman wrote.

A community forum will be held Tuesday night, Feb. 11, at the Newton South High School auditorium “to help process the tragedies we have faced this school year,” according to Fleishman’s letter.

He wrote that counselors will be available at all the city’s schools, and encouraged parents to contact students’ guidance counselor, social worker, or school psychologist if they have any concerns.

According to Fleishman’s letter, the community forum next Tuesday will have a range of experts who will explain to parents how to talk with children about a sudden death, and how to support children “and yourself following tragic events." The mayor and other school leaders will also be at the forum.

Fleishman said in his letter that his thoughts are with the Grutman family, who also have children at the Memorial-Spaulding and Oak Hill schools.

“It is hard to imagine what they are going through now,” he wrote.

“I fully recognize that this is a very trying time for the City of Newton. I am hopeful that together, we will provide the support, care and kindness necessary to move forward. Please let any Newton Public Schools’ staff member know if we can be of help to you and your family,” he wrote.

Ellen Ishkanian can be reached at eishkanian@globe.com.

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